12/28/2018 6 Comments
Sending Off To Study Abroad
My Process of Planning, Preparing, Packing for Ireland
Before I even applied to go to school anywhere I knew that I wanted to study abroad at some point during my time in college. I was blessed with the opportunity to go on a short-term study abroad trip to Scotland at the end of my freshman year where I hiked, mountain-biked, kayaked, and canoed along The West Highland Way. Now, I am about to embark on a full semester abroad in Dublin, Ireland.
When first exploring my options to study abroad, I was overwhelmed. I wanted to go everywhere + anywhere and had no idea where to begin to narrow it down. Thankfully, my school has an awesome study abroad program and coordinator who helped me through the process. Since I was open to traveling to any type of climate + culture, we began to look at study abroad programs that would offer me the most money through scholarships + that would allow me to complete the courses that I need in order to complete my degree (two very important aspects when deciding on where to attend school abroad, by the way).
Once I narrowed down my options + discovered Dublin, Ireland to best fit my needs, I began working out the details of how to make it all come together. I obviously first rushed over to the program’s website to fill out my application, which I completed two months before the deadline (excited, or?). Then, I met with my academic advisor + student services coordinator on campus to discuss which classes I would need to take abroad + how those would transfer back as course credit here at my university. I also got into contact with a couple of students I knew that had attended the same program in Ireland before to get answers to some of my initial questions + advice on study abroad in general. The study abroad office on my campus hosted an orientation meeting discussing what to expect, financial aid, culture shock, packing, etc. which was extremely helpful!
Now the initial details, logistics, paperwork are all out of the way + I am gearing up the last stages before heading off! I am a huge fan of clothing + putting together new outfits for every single day of the year. However, when packing to live abroad for 3-4 months in a single suitcase, this tendency is just not possible. So, here is a bit about how I went about packing for my study abroad:
Lastly, before I set off I wanted to jot down some goals for my time abroad. I wrote them on two little post-it notes so that I could carry one around with me in my bag while traveling + hang the other up in my bedroom. These are things that I hope to accomplish while I am in Ireland such as travel destinations + personal development, as well as little reminders + words of encouragement to keep me going as I come into contact with culture shock + challenges.
I am beyond stoked to begin this new experience ahead of me + I hope to keep you updated so as to take you along the journey with me!
Slán go fóill (goodbye for now)!
12/28/2018 02:06:47 pm
How exciting! No doubt you'll make the most of this experience. I'm praying for your safety, for good health, and for specific answers to all your prayer requests that you have mentioned. Enjoy! Godspeed!
12/28/2018 08:15:17 pm
I’m so thankful that God has blessed you with this amazing opportunity to study abroad in Ireland. This will be a wonderful experience. I’ll be praying for you and your prayer requests daily. I love you!
12/31/2018 08:05:11 am
You are fearless, and Mom and I just sit back in amazement at you and all you have done and will be doing - including this Study Abroad semester in Ireland, and also the side trips that you're planning for other European countries while you're "in the neighborhood". We are praying that you will have good roommates, "real" friends that you can travel with (versus alone), finding a church and fellow Christians nearby, about your internship and classes in Dublin, and also about any culture shock and homesickness that you may experience. We're also praying for your safety and for good health. As with everything we pray about - or when we are concerned, we trust God with it all. We hope this is a wonderful experience overall for you. Be safe, and have fun! I love you!
Meemaw & Pappaw Watson
12/31/2018 05:09:34 pm
"May the Lord bless and keep you, make His face to shine upon you and give you peace" (Numbers 6:24-25) and "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord". We are praying our Lord's hand print and His heartbeat to be evident in your life as you honor Him in the next four months of your study abroad in Ireland. The adventures, experiences and opportunities that await you will continue to be life long, treasured memories. We are comforted just knowing that God is with you. directing your paths and making you a blessing while you are being blessed! We love you and are extremely grateful that you are following and reaching so many of your dreams as you delight yourself in the Lord (Psa. 37:4) and He is, therefore, granting you the desires of your heart.
1/1/2019 09:49:25 am
This trip to study abroad in Ireland should hopefully be a great adventure, experience, and opportunity. Ireland is an unusual choice as I assume most students would pick a country where tourists and vacationers normally flock to for "fun in the sun." Seems like you've done the necessary research and preparation. Think very carefully about where, what, and with who you plan to spend your free time outside of your studies on campus - safety. Listen to your gut. I recommend that you read a book entitled "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker. He wrote the book primarily with women in mind. Enjoy your time over there, study hard, and may the Lord be with and bless you.
1/4/2019 08:33:28 am
That book ("The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker) is available for free (downloaded PDF). It's over 800 pages! Thanks for the recommendation.
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